Portuguese jurist hopes that President will veto euthanasia law


Southern Europe


A man holds a stop sign reading "Stop Euthanasia" during a protest against the decriminalization of euthanasia in front of the parliament in Lisbon as lawmakers debate bills on euthanasia. Photo AFP, Patricia De Melo

If the current draft law on euthanasia that is being considered in Portugal manages to survive the consultation round of the Constitutional Court, the Portuguese President can still veto it. Jurist Pedro Vaz Patto hopes he does.

Even though the President does not have the power to completely block a law from getting implemented, a veto would be a testimony that the President of the Republic opposes the legislation, says Pedro Vaz Patto, as reported by Ecclesia. He is a jurist and the president of the National Commission for Justice and Peace in Portugal. “It is a position that I hope he will take on because we know what he thinks about the matter.”

Vaz Patto made his statements in a broadcast of Ecclesia and Renascença. Currently, Portugal is considering new end-of-life legislation. The draft law is now with the Constitutional Court, which will return it to the Portuguese Parliament on March 31.


According to Vaz Patto, the President of Portugal has the right to oppose a law. “It has the same legitimacy that the deputies have to vote for the approval of the law”, he says in the broadcast.

The jurist furthermore points out that the legalisation of euthanasia is clearly against the constitution. He points out that the constitution includes the principle of the inviolability of human life.

At the same time, Vaz Patto acknowledges that the issues that led to the declaration of the unconstitutionality of the euthanasia draft law are “indeterminate concepts, concepts that are not very clear, which is also a problem.” He is afraid that the unclarity of concepts will leave space for future expansions of the law, the “so-called sliding ramp.”

If the President of Portugal vetoes the law, the threshold for its passing becomes higher.



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